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Banking Icon N Vaghul Passes Away at 88

The Indian banking industry mourns the loss of a legendary figure, N Vaghul, who passed away on Saturday in Chennai at the age of 88. Vaghul, a former chairman of ICICI Bank, left an indelible mark on the financial sector with his visionary leadership and commitment to excellence.

An Accidental Journey into Banking

Born with aspirations of becoming a civil servant, Vaghul’s path took an unexpected turn when he was forced to wait a few years to take the coveted civil services examination. Seizing the opportunity, he joined the State Bank of India (SBI) in 1954, embarking on a remarkable journey that would shape the banking landscape.

A Trailblazer in Indian Banking

After nearly two decades at SBI, Vaghul moved to the National Institute of Bank Management before joining the Central Bank of India as an executive director. His leadership capabilities were further recognized when he became the chairman and managing director of Bank of India. However, his most significant contribution came when he joined the erstwhile development bank ICICI Ltd in 1985.

Mentoring the Next Generation of Leaders

During his tenure at ICICI Bank, Vaghul mentored and guided many senior executives, including K.V. Kamath, who succeeded him as chairman and continued to build upon his legacy. Vaghul’s commitment to nurturing talent and fostering leadership played a pivotal role in shaping the bank’s future success.

Recognizing Excellence: Padma Bhushan Awardee

In recognition of his exceptional contributions to the banking industry, Vaghul was honored with the prestigious Padma Bhushan, India’s third-highest civilian award, in 2009. This accolade served as a testament to his dedication and the indelible impact he had on the financial sector.

A Life of Philanthropy and Giving

Beyond his professional accomplishments, Vaghul was a generous philanthropist, dedicated to giving back to society. He is survived by his wife, daughter, and son, who continue to carry forward his legacy of compassion and service.

Remembering a Banking Pioneer

As the Indian banking community mourns the loss of N Vaghul, his remarkable journey from an accidental banker to a visionary leader and philanthropist serves as an inspiration for generations to come. His unwavering commitment to excellence, mentorship, and giving back will forever be etched in the annals of the country’s financial history.

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